How did I get here?
Three years ago I was supposed to be married and living what I thought was the life I would live for the rest of my life. What a joke! After moving to NYC to begin this new life, 2 weeks later I was headed in another unexpected direction. We broke up! To make it worse, I already accepted a NON-PAID internship at a wonderful advertising agency, which meant I was making NON-PAID money! My mom told me to come home. If I left New York, I wouldn¹t get my graduate degree that winter. What to do now? Well, I decided to stay. I had to. I wanted to at least let the things that I could control stay intact. Even better, the x decided to help me out. Funny thing is this is when the life that I was really supposed to be living began.
After staying at my friend’s parents house for three weeks while I figured things out, I moved into a hotel in Secaucus, NJ. I stayed there for a month. I was learning survival. I was 24 and had no friends or family within a 4 hour radius. It was just me and NYC. I was learning more about myself as a woman, as a survivor. I was humbled tremendously. I took public transportation everywhere I went. It was New York, it was expected. I walked. I learned the subway system like the back of my hand. I cried everyday purging out the pain and fear. I ate dinner alone. I cried there too. Still, I was growing.
My internship was going great. I was making new friends, friends who eventually became my roommates. After a month of living in the hotel, my coworker/newfound friend/guardian angel, invited me to move in to her apartment where she had an empty room. I packed up my trash bags and said goodbye to a room that was the hoarder of my tears, pain, and isolation. I was moving to Brooklyn! I would have never thought I would be living in Brooklyn, NY. I heard about it in the songs, and saw it on tv shows, but now it was my home.
I had a bare room with a mattress on the floor. It was perfect. I was surrounded by the sound of life and laughter, the sound of friendship, the sound of new beginnings. No more tears. I had 2 new roommates. 2 new friends. I knew it was only going to get better from there. I was still surviving on little funds. My mom, the x, and ummmmm, yeah that’s about it.
Nevertheless, I was happy. I partied, I met new people. Saw new things. It went on like this for the remainder of my internship and when they offered me the opportunity to stay, I gladly accepted.
Now I officially had a job! No more money coming from the x! I stayed there for two years. It was the best. I worked as an Account Executive on the Xerox and United Negro College Fund accounts. I learned corporate America. I went to dinner parties. I learned the ins and outs about networking (getting free invites to exclusive events) as well as making business relationships and keeping them. (Paths will always likely cross again). I had a ball. But then a unsettling feeling started to take over about the sport that carried me through college. Track and Field.
My old teammates and friends were running professionally and doing well. I started to think, man I wish I could still run, travel the world and make money doing it. Then I realized, You Can! I figured that I could be working in advertising when I’m 50. I sure can¹t run then! So I decided to do it!
I¹m going for it, I thought. What do I have to lose? If it didn¹t work, I could always come back to working (and my job told me I could definitely come back), so I left. I packed up my things, and left the city where I developed the courage that allowed me to do so. I now had the power to do the most insurmountable things in life. Thank you New York.
So here I am now, 2 years after leaving New York and I am a Track and Field World Champion and an Olympian. Who would have known!?! That’s why I encourage all to take those chances in life and move forward clinging to the hope of success. Hey what do you have to lose? If anything you come away with new experiences, new stories. That sounds like growth to me. All things are possible simply extraordinary!
This blog is about my life. My experiences. My point of views. The way simple actions in life can have the most extraordinary effect. The way the most ordinary person can do the most amazing things. As you go through life I hope that all will notice the way that things you consider effortless or small, may be the biggest deal to the next person. So don’t go through life jaded by your expectations. Realize that it¹s the simple things that can affect life and people in the most extraordinary ways!
Thank you Ms. Jordan and Mrs. Barber for doing the simplest thing that allowed me to have the encouragement of hope: Giving me an empty room, filled with so much love.
I dedicate this blog to my Mom and Dad for taking the time to expose me to the different opportunities the world offers and always allowing me to follow my heart.